Learning to learn (4/5)

Uploaded by OUlife on 20.08.2009

My name is Smina Zahar.
I am doing Environmental Polices in an International Context.
I am a science technician at Salford University.
And an Open University student.
I originally started studying
because I just wanted something that I would quite enjoying doing,
and possibly eventually help me in my career.
When she first told me she was doing an Open University course,
I was thinking "Oh, why? Are you crazy?"
When she knows what she wants,
she'll do everything she can to achieve her aims and goals.
Engage with your course.
Active learning is getting to know the materials you have,
television programmes, coursework books.
It's all about understanding what they're all about.
This is my study area.
I have my workbooks here by my computer.
Any other literature that I may need on this course,
I actually have in this box, on the floor, hidden away in the corner.
I have my study calendar on the wall.
Green one for the essays,
and the orange are for all the television programmes I have to record.
And as I do these tasks, I cross them off.
Where I work, I do get lots of practical experience,
but I wanted to do something that was more sort of theory,
to back up the practical work.
Plan your time.
Wit? working at the Salford University,
I find it's quite useful to use some of the resources
they provide for their students.
It helps me expand on the resources that I actually have.
I may study during my lunchtime, or instead of being stuck in traffic jams,
I tend to stay behind, possibly for an hour, it could be two hours.
So, I just feel that, time-wise, I manage a lot better,
if I actually have the choice of studying in the evening.
Be flexible.
My best study skill is taking notes.
I will read a particular paragraph and I like to put them in my own words.
They're easier to understand.
If I'm not in a position to write notes, I will do bullet points.
I have the page number and I've highlighted certain words, as well.
And because I have the first few words of the particular paragraph,
it's easy for me, when I go back to the books,
I actually see them straight away.
Whereas, I think, before,
I was spending a lot longer going through the texts,
trying to find the relevant points that I did need.
Get support.
There is somebody at work, called Ken,
that I feel is very helpful.
Most of the courses I've done happen to be the areas that he actually teaches in.
If I have any problems, he's able to put me in the right direction.
I think my job really is to act as a critical friend.
Smina comes to me initially for advice,
but she also then goes and seeks confirmation
of that advice from her Open University colleagues.
One step at a time.
After studying, I like my candles,
because I like to take in all the aromas to help me relax.
I think taking breaks is very important,
because I think your brain cannot absorb any more information,
just put your books away, and go and do something else.
If I do get a good degree, I'd like to go on and do my MSE.
I'd like to get into research.
We do have postgraduate students.
Many times there is no one to help with their research,
so I'd like to get into that area.
There is more time to do other things.
My family feel as if I have taken on a lot of work.
I'm working full time and I'm studying.
She has changed quite a bit.
When she's doing her research and she talks about it,
you can see the way she's doing it now is very different to how she started,
before, she was a little bit all over the place,
not knowing exactly what she was doing.
But now, she's very aware of what she's doing,
how she's doing it, and she's more methodical.
When I have an assignment to write,
the title is usually based around
the chapter you're actually reading at that time.
And they do encourage people to do essay plans,
so, you can sit down and work through the plan and decide
what the important bits are and where you need to put them.
They are key words that you do need to define.
So, I'll put that into my introduction.
The information from bullet points, any notes that I've taken,
and any words that I've highlighted.
Then, use these points, expand on them.
So, I may do two or three drafts, and if I'm still not happy,
I'll rearrange things, and then finally,
hoping I've got it right, to then send it off.
Doing the Open University course was something I wanted to do for myself,
so I could broaden my horizons.